Do we know if Aegon married his sisters in the same ceremony, or separately? IIRC, we don't. If "it was said by some that Aegon wed Visenya out of duty & Rhaenys out of desire" is true, then it suggests his parent/s were dead when he took Rhaenys for his bride (whether with Visenya or not) or if they were alive, he convinced them to allow him to. The "out of desire" sounds like Aerion & Valaena had not planned on marrying their younger daughter to their son, perhaps intending to match her with a Velaryon (most likely Aethan), or just hadn't put much thought into it yet, especially if the siblings were rather young. Given their relationship as adults, Rhaenys may have felt the same way (presumably) as Aegon about him as a child - Shaera & Jaehaerys-esque. It's possible there was some lesser Targaryen male, but I doubt it - we would've most likely heard of one by now. And although I believe that Aerion fathered him & knew he did, I highly doubt that Orys was even considered for Rhaenys.
Were their nuptials under Valyrian or Faith rites? One thing to consider there is whether they converted to the Seven as adults, or were they raised with it (if perhaps not exclusively) in their youth. If Septon Barre is correct, then the statues of the Seven in Dragonstone's sept were constructed from the masts of the ships that carried Aenar & co to their new home. The sept itself may have even existed before the arrival of the Targaryens, as Dragonstone very likely acted as a waypoint for the Valyrian steel trade to Westeros (indeed, I believe it was the primary reason the Freehold annexed the island in the first place). A sept for the overwhelming majority of Westerosi customers who worshiped the Seven would be accommodating & diplomatic. Imo, either ceremony is possible, but I lean towards a Valyrian one, especially if it involved all three siblings. Also, considering Visenya herself performed the Valyrian rites for the marriage of Maegor & Alys. As well as all the potential problems Lord Varys has highlighted.
Frankly, the Princes Aenys & Maegor (along with further siblings, if their parents so desired) should've been born before the Conquest, let alone when their mothers were ~32 & ~40 respectively, during the middle of the First Dornish War. It makes no sense. Was it actually King Aegon - not Queen Visenya as rumoured - who was sterile & if so, was he in denial about it? I wonder if Aenys may have been fathered by a Velaryon, not some artist as rumoured - Queen Rhaenys was far too smart for that. There would be some delicious irony if it was Ser Corlys (as he most likely died saving Aegon) or Lord Aethan (it would actually make Aenys & Lady Alyssa half-siblings, not cousins). And of course, it seems like (imo) Visenya used some sort of sorcery wrt Maegor's conception, most likely to ensure a boy & one far stronger than Aenys, but perhaps there was even more to it than that.
I wonder when Aegon started to bring Aenys on his progresses, seems like he was reasonably young. Was Aenys really "adequate as a fighter" or did his tutors over-praise his prowess? Probably both, imo. Interesting that Aegon gave Blackfyre to his elder son to train with occasionally & we get a further indication of his parenting style with the horses he gifted him. By no means was he a perfect dad, but eons ahead of the likes of Randyll Tarly. I wonder who, if anyone, encouraged Aenys' courtly & artistic interests & pursuits. Perhaps Alyssa, but that would've only been when he was older. We may be missing some close friends &/or mentors, outside of the chivalric arts. Aenys was clearly a popular prince, perhaps even to many & more of those less-inclined to his sort of personality shall we say, at least at his father's right-hand. I believe he rubbed off to some degree on Jaehaerys, who in turn influenced the likes of the younger Viserys I & Viserys II, & lifetime Baelor Breakspear & Prince Duncan (minus the Jenny of Oldstones-Baratheon business) as personable royals. And we're told that Prince Viserys was "a promising lad" & even "much loved by smallfolk & lords alike" despite his position in Maegor's court & everything that had & was happening with his family. Of course, Alyssa almost certainly had even greater positive affect on their children, but still.
Maegor really was groomed to be his father's image (& then some, plus Visenya's) martially - a real sword in his hands at three. Interesting that Gyldayn believes the cat butchering episode was most likely a historical bias against him. I hope Fire & Blood covers more historical speculation for this time period, as what happened in The Rogue Prince & The Princess & the Queen. Of course, on a meta-level, we're supposed to recall Joffrey's kitteh surgery with reading about Maegor's. Died Ser Gawen wield Lady Forlorn? Maybe, maybe not, but I suspect he may have been a KG knight; given there would've been at least one on Dragonstone, Visenya founded the order, & Aenys was trained by (the) others. The young Maegor really was a mini-Visenya dialed up to 11, & then some. Martially, the Daemon Blackfyre or Dragonknight of his day though. The "half a year before his marriage" makes me suspect it played into Visenya giving Dark Sister to her son then (more on this later).
Gyldayn's next two paragraphs sound like avuncular & (first) cousin marriages may be considered as incest among some (few) in Westeros, uncommon matches, but by no means are they illegal - that's only for sibling & parental incest, which it specifically mentions even the Faith only denounced. In Valyrian society, they were fall-backs if a sibling match was not possible. In Westerosi society, there's numerous examples of them that weren't/aren't problematic with the Faith or wider populace, & are/were generally used to bind claims to avoid dynastic conflicts (if sometimes detrimental to the woman in the relationship). And with those avuncular matches, most of them were not fully nuncle-niece or aunt-nephew, but half (e.g. Alyn Velaryon was Princess Baela's half-uncle). Who are these sorcerer princes? Probably only dragonlords, imo. I suppose it could've extended to the mages who held the Fourteen Flames in check, depending on what their relationships with the dragonlords were, but I wouldn't be surprised if these magical practitioners were slaves; let alone (near) equals of dragonriders.
Are Craster's relations with his daughters the only examples of parental incest we know? Even the dragonlords may not have practiced it - outside of a "love match" (vomit), they'd have to be extremely desperate to resort to parental incest - even if there were no lesser member of the family to marry, surely someone else from another family would be possible & better. Did Ronard Storm marry a half-sister or was she a step-sister? Are step-siblings in a relationship considered (abominably) incestuous in Westeros? The First Men certainly do seem to have been more tolerant of (royal) polygamy than the Andals, but they very likely drew the line at sibling & parental incest, particularly if wildling customs are any indicator. The Essosi Andals of old having denounced the (most) heinous of Valyrian, especially dragonlords, customs is a nice world-building touch by GRRM. The Scouring of Lorath (which I believe triggered the Andal migrations to the Reach, ~700 years after the first invasions of the Vale) presumably wasn't the first time that the Andals suffered heavily at the hands of Valyrians, perhaps even the dragonlords, particularly considering the founding of Myr & the establishment of Qohor & Norvos by religious dissidents. It seems that only with the founding of Pentos (the 3rd last Free City?), that local Andals accepted the inevitability of Valyrian rule.
I certainly understand Aegon's policy wrt to the Faith, the (partial) deference & acquiescence for no opposition from such a powerful institution, but I wonder if it was a bit too much & if he should've "asked" one of the more amenable High Septons (the initial one, who blessed & anointed him, for example) to actually declare his incestuous polygamy lawful. Mayhaps that could've eased tensions later down the line. A little bit of new(?) information on the Faith - certain rights & privileges (what though?), tax exemption, & solely internal justice; which Aegon confirmed, demonstrating imo that he had more room to move with them. An official declaration of the lawfulness of the Targaryen polygamy, incest, & fruits of those unions should've been possible. Also with Aegon's confirmations, the old kingdoms had clearly done the same. Still, I think the position of High Septon & the Faith Militant became even more powerful under Aegon's rule. Though political power was far more centralised than previously, the Father of the Faithful exercised even more of it, whilst still keeping the more zealous of his flock somewhat in check (tbf, dragons & the Conqueror's strong rule). The Warrior's Sons added another chapter, in the new capital itself, with a leader rising to Grand Captain by the reign of Aenys (if not earlier) when the Captain in Oldtown was Lord Hightower's younger brother, no less.
Confirmation that Aenys & Maegor had no sisters, so what was with the announcement on Not A Blog stating that they would be among the supporting cast featuring? IIRC, there were a couple of daughters by Rhaenys in the first Sons reading, but they were dropped by the second ... Anyway, I think a little too much is made of the "informal" nature of the earliest Small Councils to when Jaehaerys formalised them to the level they (generally) existed as thereafter. Yes, Rhaenys & Visenya were essentially co-rulers with their brother, sitting the Iron Throne in their own right (if in his absence & arguably by his authority), (generally) most likely with even more power than a Hand. And the Master (or Mistress) of Whisperers was only introduced under Maegor with Tyanna as his spymaster (although I don't think it was completely official as it were, as she was only referred to as "the mistress of whispers" & seems to have derived more of her power as a co-queen & influence with Maegor). But it's obvious from so early as his initial landing coronation that Aegon had thought through his most prominent royal positions & they were powerful courtiers & administrators.
Wow, Elio has said that the mention of Alyssa having a Targaryen mother in The World of Ice & Fire is an error. Aenys & Alyssa's degree of cousin relation may only be in the Velaryon line, not merely closest as the wording in Sons suggests. Perhaps most likely with Conquest-Lord Daemon being Aethan's father & a brother of Valaena, or something like that. Considering the losses to the royal fleet during the Conquest, necessitating Aegon (via Torrhen Stark) to hire the Braavosi sellsails against the Sistermen (& I believe the war fleet he had against the ironborn in 2AC was mostly made up of Reach & Westerlands vessels), it could've been many years before it was completely rebuilt & crewed. Particularly with how the First Dornish War was such a financial (the Stormlord ransoms presumably paying for Dorne's rebuilding & perhaps also how the Martells could genuinely have been able to hire a Faceless Man), political, & manpower drain.
Aegon would've been an utter fool imo to not marry Alyssa to Aenys:
Closest applicable female relation (perhaps his only not very distant), from the family of their oldest & most loyal supporters.
Not a native Westerosi lady, which could cause anger from prominent vassals passed over for some other, with Aenys as the heir.
An example for the native Westerosi houses to strive for, to potentially be rewarded with a royal match for leal service themselves in future.
Rhaena was obviously named for her grandmother. No surprises that Visenya proposed betrothing the newborn princess to her son (geez, a baby being engaged is weird), nor that Aenys & Alyssa opposed it. Interesting though, albeit telling, that it was the High Septon's objection which specifically turned Aegon away from it. The king may have even decreed it officially considering the High Septon heard of it, although it could've been brought up in open court (say Rhaena's presentation) &/or His High Holiness informed by some royal servant (say Grand Maester Gawen). That he didn't actually condemn the match as unlawful incest & of course, that he proposed Ceryse Hightower (his maternal niece) instead, very much further evidences that avuncular relations are not abominable incest in the eyes of the Faith; with the vague disapproval as cover for obvious dynastic ambition. Personally, Aegon made a mistake. I think he would've been better encouraging a match for Ceryse to a Tyrell, Baratheon, Velaryon, Lannister, Stark, Tully, or Arryn. Perhaps even a Martell. And for Maegor, a maid from one of the Paramount houses, but ideally a Baratheon. Possibly even a Celtigar, Massey, or Bar Emmon.
For timing, Maegor marrying Ceryse, & being related to the Hightowers through marriage, I think this High Septon was most likely the one who paid for the Sept of Remembrance on the Hill of Rhaenys. I wonder what, if anything, was there previously. Most likely a smaller & simpler sept, specially considering the late queen's brilliant knack for soft power, including with relation to the Faith in philanthropy & (if nominal) piety with the dominant religion. By the time of his marriage, I believe Maegor had been made Prince of Dragonstone by his father (likely pushed for by his mother), in-so-far as inheriting the seat after Aegon's death for his own line. The multiple mentions of the younger son as PoD, outside of the first, including the one here with his wedding. Not to mention, factoring into Visenya's later disgust when Aenys named Aegon 1.5 as PoD over Maegor when he was in (temporary) exile. I've always thought that Ceryse was unmatched at 21, because the Hightowers had always wished to wed her to a Targaryen prince, Aenys first. I just recalled how disgusting the bedding ceremonies are. And what a charming young man Maegor was. Seven hells, poor Ceryse. Saying it now, Maegor may have been sterile, perhaps as a side-effect of his conception.
Viserys was seemingly named after Visenya. I wonder what were all the motivations for doing so & how the she viewed it. Jaehaerys may have been named for a Jacaerys, which was a traditional Velaryon name, but we've only encountered once with Jace near a century later. Most likely he would've been one of Alyssa's unnamed brothers. Alysanne clearly for her mother. Interesting that "some said (Maegor) stood behind his brother's daughters" in the succession, considering there was only ever one (known) successful (i.e. wasn't deposed) Queen Regnant in any of the pre-Conquest kingdoms. Some may have done so for a desire to not see Maegor ever sit the throne, with others perhaps looking to Valyrian succession, which may have been somewhat more progressive than inheritance in Westeros if Daenys & Elaena (both a co-ruling Lady of Dragonstone with their brother-husbands) were anything to go by. Along with & tied to that, the eldest daughter-eldest son marriage tradition.
I'd really like to learn more about the Tullys of this time in Fire & Blood, particularly who was the Lord of Riverrun at this time, who was during Aenys & Maegor's reigns, & how they were related to Edmyn. Also, this tourney - who were the KG knights, how old & skilled were they, & who was the eventual champion? What weapon did Maegor use in melees - a sword, a mace, a warhammer, or something else? Aegon personally knighting Maegor was not unlikely the high point of their relationship, hopefully Visenya was there with the Hand ruling in their absence. A great honour being from his royal father & with Blackfyre, not to mention he was the youngest knight of his day - it definitely seems like knighthood was given to younger men during the Targaryen era than before the Conquest, perhaps with anyone under 18 rarely being knighted. Confirmation then that Aegon himself was knighted - my guess is by Ser Quenton Qoherys.
Interesting that there were two separate campaigns against Sargaso Saan in consecutive years, suggesting he was a formidable foe, along with the "several bloody affrays" & the Crown launching them in the first place. I believe he led, or was at least part of, the pirate fleet that sacked Tall Trees Town in 19AC, which prompted Aegon to (finally) commission city walls & gates for KL. Interesting that Ser Osmund accompanied Aethan & Maegor, presumably as the commander of the royal forces, but neither Aegon or Visenya seem to have provided dragon support - they may have only needed the single campaign & sparing who knows how many men & ships. Who was the Giant of the Trident? I suspect he may have been a Strong descendant, whether male-line or female-line or bastard-line, given the location, his name, & dramatic potential with a Strong as Hand. Even better if it was he who won the joust in the Riverrun tourney.
"On tourney ground & battlefield, however, Prince Maegor's accomplishment's far exceeded those of his brother" sounds like Aenys may have seen military action at some stage too. I don't think his march from Riverrun to Harrenhal in 37AC would count, so what would it have been? There's five years between Viserys & Jaehaerys, so it may be that Aenys also took part in some of the campaigns that Maegor did, but I doubt it. Perhaps it was earlier attempt to bring the Giant to justice.
Ok, the dragons ... Yes, it's ridiculous that Princes Aegon (pre-Quicksilver) & Viserys did not claim one of these hatchlings/young dragons, afawk. Particularly as it says the ones after Quicksilver only hatched "in the later years of Aegon's reign" so they wouldn't have been overlarge or aggressive, plus less likely that some may have died. As has been said, Aegon 1.5 can really only be explained properly if the plan was for him to claim Balerion or Vhagar (the former unlikely at best, given Maegor's "only one dragon worthy of (me)" jab back at Alyssa & that he claimed the dragon), or he had one that was killed by the Poor Fellows at Crakehall. My guess is that Viserys had one, but his hostage status meant he couldn't escape on it & if it wasn't killed by Maegor, it was among the "their get" of Balerion & Vhagar the Dragonpit was for. That, I don't think Vermithor was previously his, before Jaehaerys had it.
Hopefully Fire & Blood sorts them all out ... The "feast of friendship" is definitely something else I want to learn more about. What did Aegon think of it? Deria & her family? Which Dornish nobles went & which were absent? What did Visenya & Orys (& Argella) think of it? Which of the king's vassals, if any, attended? If any were invited, who were they & who went? What did Aenys think of it, especially wrt Rhaenys? His presence definitely suggests that Aegon wanted the peace to continue after his death. Perhaps he wished for Dorne to eventually be brought into the realm through the marriage of a grandchild (or great-grandchild) to a Martell, potentially even a double one as what happened 150-odd years later. A bit disappointing we didn't get more on royal progresses, especially Aegon's last one & a few details of Aenys & Alyssa taking them over. Are we meant to take it that Maegor never went on any of them, or at least only rarely did? Because there's explicit mention that Aegon pretty much brought Aenys along with him very regularly/all the time from some young age, whilst Maegor stayed with Visenya, mostly on Dragonstone. I suppose Maegor's martial prowess just wasn't worth demonstrating much to the wider realm, given his personality.
Bloody hell! 100k people in KL by (seemingly) 33AC, no wonder it was (& somewhat still is) a clusterfuck. The Targaryens had left plenty of room within the city walls, but it clearly was not enough in retrospect. Oldtown & White Harbor obviously benefited from the planning associated with (far) slower growth, Lannisport & Gulltown presumably the same. And what an abomination the Aegonfort had become, I'd love to see some artwork of it eventually. I suspect having Dragonstone to go back to delayed the necessary rebuilding of the royal seat. Between progresses & Dragonstone stays & Aegonfort expansions, along with the city walls, Sept of Remembrance, Red Keep, & Dragonpit projects; it's not that surprising that public works by the Crown in KL & beyond only began during Jaehaerys I's reign, advocated foremost by Septon Barth.Aegon probably commanded Visenya to oversee the building of the Red Keep for her skills & shared interests in the project, particularly with a new Hand (Osmund's death & his own semi-retirement perhaps spurred the king to finally do something about the Aegonfort), but it does seem like he didn't want to be around her. Having, perhaps even specifically choosing, a rather minor local lord as Hand would mean they should be in KL working as much as possible; than if they were a more powerful & geographically-distant noble. Interesting that Aegon (10-11) & Viserys (7-8) were not with their parents on progress at Highgarden, but with their grandfather on Dragonstone when he passed. I wonder if that was the norm, or they just weren't on that one for whatever reason (GRRM to put in a Godfather reference?). Was Rhaena (13-14) with Aenys & Alyssa? I'm getting a cute image of the Painted Table set up for the Conquest - kind of like how Egg & Aemon played out the Redgrass Field on the terrain table of their father's maester - with one or both of the boys (or maybe Aegon himself, but he was showing them) in the elevated Dragonstone seat.